How to Enroll In an LPN College in Skagway Alaska
Once you have chosen a rewarding vocation in the field of nursing, it’s important that you choose a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in Skagway AK that will deliver the right education. If you live in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no difference, other than the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their duties do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will talk about in the next segment. When starting their search for schools, many potential nursing students begin with the ones that are the closest to their houses or that are the least costly. While price and location are significant points to consider, they are not the only qualifications that you should base your decision on. Other factors, for example if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important too. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LVN or LPN training program that we will address later in this article. But to start with, let’s have a look at the function of an LPN and what is involved in the instruction and licensing process.
LPN and LVN Job Responsibilities
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses have many tasks that they perform in the Skagway AK medical facilities where they are employed. As their titles indicate, they are required to be licensed in all states, including Alaska. Although they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the direction of either an RN or a doctor. The health care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, such as hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can encounter patients in need of medical treatment is their domain. Every state not only oversees their licensing, but also what work activities an LPN can and can’t perform. So based on the state, their everyday work activities can include:
- Taking vital signs
- Providing medicines
- Initiating IV drips
- Monitoring patients
- Taking blood or urine samples
- Taking care of patient records
- Supporting doctors or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the Skagway AK healthcare facilities or other healthcare providers where LPNs or LVNs work can additionally limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can work in various specialties of nursing, for example long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations offered in Alaska that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Skagway AK, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Other Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Skagway AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Alaska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Alaska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Skagway AK area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alaska to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some Skagway AK area schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Skagway AK along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the Skagway AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Alaska schools.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for nurses, both LPNs and RNs, vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Skagway AK school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alaska school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Skagway AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships in the Skagway AK area to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs in Alaska require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships in the Skagway AK area.
Pick the Right LPN Degree Skagway 99840
Deciding on the best Licensed Practical Nurse program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become an LVN in Skagway AK.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Cities in Alaska That You Might Be Interested In